Project Page

Water Column Characterization of Selected Metals Associated with Crude Oil as a Tracer for Plume Movement from the Deepwater Horizon Site

Implementing Organization

Louisiana State University


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Physical Aspects Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

Crude oil is elevated in one or more metallic elements that may be used as a tracer for following the movement of oil as it disperses from a spill site. In particular, vanadium is an element found in substantially elevated concentrations in many crude oil sources relative to levels found in uncontaminated soils, sediment-water systems, and seawater. Nickel is another element found elevated in most crude oils (Andrade, Covelo, Vega, and Marcet, 2004, Journal of Environmental Quality 33:2103-2110; Sasaki, Maki, Ishihara, and Harayama, 1998.


Robert Gambrell
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions


+ View Raw Data